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A-Z Knowledge on Wood-derived Chemicals

R&D Projects for the Valorization of Wood Cellulose

R&D Projects for the Valorization of Lignin from Wood

R&D Projects for the Valorization of Sugars from Wood

R&D Projects for the Valorization of Extractives from Wood

Wood Chemistry Reinventing Polymers for a Greener Future

Biopolymers Derived from Wood Extractives

Biopolymers Derived from Wood Extractives

Tannins-based Foams


Tannin-based Rigid Foams Tannins are present in many plants and trees such as:

  • Oak
  • Pine
  • Chestnut
  • Quebracho, and
  • Many others

Tannins are polymers consisting mainly of glycosides, belonging to the polyphenol family, and are able to precipitate proteins. Historically, tannins, both hydrolyzable and condensed, have been associated with the preservation of hides for leather.

In addition to the tanning industry, tannins can also be efficiently used in the oenological sector as clarifying agents for the production of wine and beer. Tannins are also used in:

  • Cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industry for their antioxidant and anticancer properties
  • Textile industry as efficient natural dyes, and
  • Animal nutrition to integrate naturally into animal diets

There are promising new developments ongoing to synthesize Tannin-based rigid foams which confer outstanding thermal insulating properties.

  • Tannin-based rigid foams are 95% of natural origin obtained by polycondensations of polyflavonoid tannins and furfuryl alcohol.
  • Their thermal insulation capacity is comparable to that of totally synthetic, oil-derived foams, such as polyurethanes, but with the advantage that they do not burn.
  • Tannin-based rigid foams can be proposed as insulation material, heavy metal adsorbent, floral foam or shock absorber.


Tannins-based Adhesives


There is also a growing demand for increasing the use of naturally derived materials in many of today’s products within the wood products industries. One area suited to this is the development of natural tannin adhesive in composite manufacture.

A considerable benefit of tannin adhesive is the much higher moisture content of the wood chips which can be tolerated with these adhesives than with any of the synthetic phenolic and amino resin adhesives. Interior and water resistant-type adhesives presenting no formaldehyde emission can be obtained either by special hardeners or by tannin auto-condensation without any hardener.

Tannin-based Adhesives


Polyterpene Resins


Turpentine is oil obtained from pine trees. It is a very important substance with many applications as a solvent, in the pharmaceutical industry and in the production of oils, resins, and varnishes.

Turpentine is initially separated from wood chips after they have been "cooked" in the Kraft paper-making process. It is separated off as a mixture of water and turpentine vapors, which separate out when left to separate in a tank, as turpentine is much lighter than water. This crude sulfate turpentine is a complex mixture of C10 monoterpene hydrocarbons and is distilled to collect alpha pinene, beta pinene, and other monocyclic terpenes.

Alpha-pinene, beta-pinene, and d-limonene are natural and renewable feedstocks for the manufacture of polyterpene resins. Polyterpene resins are light colored products with excellent stability and unique properties to make them effective for diverse applications such as:

  • Agricultural retention
    Waterproofing Membranes Based on Polyterpene Resins
  • Chewing gum
  • Tapes, and
  • A Broad range of adhesives

These are excellent tackifiers in pressure sensitive and hot melt adhesive systems using styrene-butadiene rubber (SBR) and styrene block copolymers, particularly S-B-S. Other applications include:

  • Paints
  • Coatings
  • Caulks and sealants
  • Investment castings, and
  • Waterproofing agents

Polyterpene oligomers are used in the agricultural industry as a retention aid and sticker for herbicide and pesticide application.

There are also new developments which focus on the use of phenolic terpene resins for the development of bio-based binder as an alternative to the bitumen mix in waterproofing membranes applications.


Bio-based Polymers Derived from Wood-based Lignin

Bio-based Polymers from Wood Sugars

Bio-based Polymers from Wood Cellulose

Barriers to the Development of Wood Biomass-derived Bio-products

Feedstock Related Barriers

Technology Related Barriers

Market Related Barriers

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